Trump heads in di­rec­tions he crit­i­cized

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Lisa Lerer

wash­ing­ton» Don­ald Trump spent the past two years at­tack­ing ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton as crooked, cor­rupt and weak. But some of those at­tacks have slipped into the his­tory books.

From in­stalling Wall Street ex­ec­u­tives in his Cabi­net to avoid­ing news con­fer­ences, the pres­i­dent-elect is adopt­ing some of the same be­hav­ior for which he crit­i­cized Clin­ton dur­ing their fiery pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Here’s a look at what Trump said then — and what he’s do­ing now:

Gold­man Sachs

Then: “I know the guys at Gold­man Sachs,” Trump said at a South Carolina rally in Fe­bru­ary, when he was locked in a fierce pri­mary bat­tle with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. “They have to­tal, to­tal con­trol over him. Just like they have to­tal con­trol over Hil­lary Clin­ton.”

Now: A num­ber of for­mer em­ploy­ees of the Wall Street bank will pay a key role in craft­ing Trump’s eco­nomic pol­icy. He’s tapped Gold­man Sachs pres­i­dent Gary Cohn to lead the White House Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil. Steven Mnuchin, the Trea­sury sec­re­tary nom­i­nee, spent 17 years work­ing at Gold­man Sachs and Steve Ban­non, Trump’s chief strate­gist and se­nior coun­selor, started his ca­reer as an in­vest­ment banker at the firm.

Big donors

Then: “Can you imag­ine an­other four years of the Clin­tons? Se­ri­ously. It’s time to move on. And she’s to­tally con­trolled by Wall Street and all these peo­ple that gave her mil­lions,” Trump said in May in Lyn­den, Wash.

Now: Trump has stocked his Cabi­net with six top donors — far more than any re­cent White House. “I want peo­ple that made a for­tune. Be­cause now they’re ne­go­ti­at­ing with you, OK?” Trump said, in a Dec. 9 speech in Des Moines, Iowa.

The big­gest giver? In­com­ing small busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tor Linda McMa­hon gave $7.5 mil­lion to a su­per PAC back­ing Trump, more than a third of the money col­lected by the po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee.

News con­fer­ences

Then: “She doesn’t do news con­fer­ences, be­cause she can’t,” Trump said at an Au­gust rally in Ash­burn, Va. “She’s so dis­hon­est she doesn’t want peo­ple pep­per­ing her with ques­tions.”

Now: Trump opened his last news con­fer­ence on July 27, say­ing: “You know, I put my­self through your news con­fer­ences of­ten, not that it’s fun.”

He hasn’t held one since.

Fam­ily ties

Then: “It is now abun­dantly clear that the Clin­tons set up a busi­ness to profit from public of­fice. They sold ac­cess and spe­cific ac­tions by and re­ally for, I guess, the mak­ing of large amounts of money,” Trump said at an Au­gust rally in Austin, Texas.

Now: While Trump has promised to separate him­self from his busi­nesses, there is plenty of over­lap be­tween his en­ter­prises and his im­me­di­ate fam­ily. His com­pa­nies will be run by his sons Don­ald Jr. and Eric. And his daugh­ter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kush­ner have joined Trump at a num­ber of meet­ings with world lead­ers of coun­tries where the fam­ily has fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests.

Ivanka is also auc­tion­ing off a pri­vate cof­fee meet­ing with her to ben­e­fit her brother’s foun­da­tion.

The meet­ing is val­ued at $50,000, with the cur­rent top bid com­ing in at $25,000.

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